The capital of North Carolina which honors the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, the first to attempt the establishment of an English settlement in North America.
The second Raleigh (Cruiser No. 8) was laid down on 19 December 1889 at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va.; launched 31 March 1892; sponsored by Mrs. Alfred W. Haywood; and commissioned on 17 April 1894, Capt. Merrill Miller in command.
Remaining in the yard for another 5 months, Raleigh shifted to Hampton Roads in early September, then conducted shakedown in Chesapeake Bay. In January 1895, she completed fitting out at the torpedo station at Newport, R.I., and on the 25th, put to sea to join the North Atlantic Squadron for battle practice in the Caribbean. In June, she put into New York, whence she moved south again for a cruise around the Florida peninsula; and in August, she returned to New York for voyage repairs before resuming operations with her squadron. For the next 10 months, she continued operations in the western Atlantic, ranging from New England to the Straits of Florida.
During the summer of 1896, she trained Naval Militiamen from South Carolina and Louisiana, then returned to the east coast and North Atlantic Squadron exercises. From late October to early February 1897, she joined in a neutrality patrol off Florida, and in April, after the completion of an overhaul at Norfolk, participated in ceremonies marking the dedication of Grant's Tomb.
On 6 May, Raleigh steamed east and, on 11 June, reported for duty on the European Station at Smyrna (now Izmir) on the Aegean Sea. In July, she participated in a good-will tour of Moroccan ports. In August, she cruised off Italy, then returned to the western Mediterranean. Into December, she operated off the Levant and, toward the end of the month transited the Suez Canal en route to the Asiatic Station. On 18 February 1898, she reached Hong Kong where she joined Dewey's squadron.
On 26 April, the U.S. Congress declared war against Spain. On the 27th the squadron got underway for Manila.
At the end of the month, Raleigh passed El Fraile Island and was fired on by an enemy battery. With Concord (Gunboat No. 3) and Boston, she returned the fire, then moved toward Cavite to engage the Spanish fleet.
Steaming in column, the American squadron ran by the Spanish, firing at close range. Two hours later, five cross runs had been completed, and the Spanish fleet had been destroyed. Shore batteries became the targets. Just before noon on 1 May, Raleigh joined Olympia (Cruiser No. 6), Boston, and Petrel (Gunboat No. 2) in silencing the navy yard and arsenal batteries. On 2 May, she sent officers ashore to demand the surrender of Corregidor and, on the 3d, sent men to disable the batteries there and destroy the munitions. In the late afternoon, shore parties were sent to Palo Caballo for the same purpose. Raleigh then took up picket and patrol duties, capturing the gunboat Callao on the 9th.
In July, Raleigh shifted from Manila Bay to Subic Bay. On the 7th, she shelled Spanish positions on Grande Island until they were surrendered; she then sent garrison troops ashore. On the 10th, she returned to Manila, where she remained until after the Spanish surrendered the city in mid-August.
On the 25th, Raleigh put to sea, bound for Hong Kong with mail. In early September, she returned to the Philippines where she operated until sailing for Suez, Gibraltar, and the United States on 15 December. On 15 April 1899, she arrived at New York and the next day received honors from other ships and from officials of the city.
Ten days after her arrival, Raleigh cleared New York Harbor and turned south. On the 26th, she entered the Delaware River and moved up to Philadelphia, where on the 28th, President McKinley and Secretary of the Navy Long came on board to honor the ship and crew for a job well done.
On 2 May, Raleigh got underway again, and, after visiting ports in the Carolinas, put into Portsmouth, N.H., where she was decommissioned on 10 June.
Recommissioned on 5 January 1903, Raleigh was fitted out at New York and in mid-March sailed for Honduras. There, she delivered stores to ships cruising off that coast, then headed east. Steaming via Gibraltar and Suez, she rejoined the Asiatic Fleet at Chefoo, China, on 26 August.
For the next 4 years she cruised in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Philippine waters in support of diplomatic missions as well as showing the flag and conducting good-will tours. On 12 August 1907, she departed Yokosuka for San Francisco. Arriving on 6 September, she proceeded to Mare Island to begin inactivation.
Decommissioned on 12 October 1907, Raleigh was recommissioned on 21 February 1911. Initially assigned to the Pacific Reserve Squadron, she remained in San Francisco until December. She then moved north to Bremerton, Wash., and 2 more years of little activity.
On 6 December 1913, she departed Puget Sound. Steaming south, she joined the active fleet and served as a station ship in Mexican ports, primarily Manzanillo, Mazatlan, La Paz, and Guaymas, for the next 4 years. During the time she interrupted her Mexican assignments twice: for duty at Ocos, Guatemala, from 6 to 25 October 1915; and at Corinto, Nicaragua, from 1 April to 26 July 1916.
Undergoing repairs at Mare Island when the United States entered World War I, Raleigh departed San Francisco in early May 1917 and on 5 June joined the Patrol Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, at Newport, R.I. Assigned to Cruiser Force, 2d Squadron, she patrolled from Boston to Norfolk until November when she was detached for duty in Brazilian waters.
On 12 December, Raleigh arrived at Rio de Janeiro and until 27 April 1918, she patrolled between there and Bahia (Salvador). In May, she arrived off West Africa; delivered munitions to the Liberian Government; continued on to Dakar, French West Africa, then, on 18 May, headed west. At the end of the month, she resumed Bahia-Rio patrols.
At the same time, however, German U-boats appeared off the east coast of the United States. Raleigh was ordered home.
Clearing Bahia on 26 June, she joined the American Patrol Detachment at Key West, Fla., on 21 July and began guarding convoys in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Caribbean, and off the east coast of the Carolinas. She remained on that duty until after the end of the war and, into 1919, continued operations out of Key West. On 6 April she entered the Charleston Navy Yard and prepared for inactivation. On 21 April 1919 she was decommissioned for the last time and on 5 August 1921, she was sold for scrapping to Henry A. Hitner's Sons Co., Philadelphia Pa.
16 September 2005